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My Encounters

by Chris Guenzler

7/2/2011 After I had hosted Let's Talk Trains that Saturday morning, I went down to Santa Ana and bought my first Metrolink Weekend Pass for ten dollars.

The Metrolink Weekend Pass. After learning there was no 12:40 PM Metrolink Train 662, I went across to the east platform to wait for Metrolink 657. I took a look at the schedule then noticed I could take Surfliner 774 down to Irvine then catch Metrolink 657 there which I did. Once I was aboard, I looked at the schedule and then decided to get off at Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs. After a 30 minute wait, Metrolink 656 took me down to Oceanside. Once we got there, it was announced that "This train is out of service!" I had to get twelve passengers off of the train who couldn't follow directions. About ten minutes later Metrolink Beach Train 860 came into Oceanside to board. Someone needs to teach these people about the Metrolink Passenger Code of Conduct aboard the train. I couldn't wait to detrain from this train when it arrived into Santa Ana.

7/3/2011. I got up and after breakfast drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and boarded Metrolink 653 which I took to Los Angeles. Almost there I saw the Sunset Limited heading to the 8th Street Yard with Amtrak 66, the Phase 2 Heritage Unit on the point. Once I saw it I knew I wanted a picture of it so I took Metrolink 654 home to Santa Ana and got my camera. I returned to Santa Ana and was up on the pedestrian bridge when Surfliner 572 pulled into Santa Ana with a surprise in its consist.

Surfliner 572 at Santa Ana with Superliner Lounge Car 33049 subbing for the usual Surfliner Cafe/Coach leaving Santa Ana. I waited for Metrolink 655 to take me to Los Angeles.

Metrolink 655 came into Santa Ana and I boarded.

BNSF power at La Mirada.

A Cascade Control Car at Redondo Jct.

Amtrak 66 at the 8th Street Yard. I got a pedestrian picture but wanted a great one of this unit. I went into LAUPT and during the layover I rode the Subway out to Wilshire/Western and back. I next boarded Metrolink 656 which I would take back to Santa Ana. I was at the back door of the Metrolink Train when we went by 8th Street.

Amtrak 66 which was moved from a perfect photo location to not a great photo location. I detrained at Santa Ana ending my first Metrolink Weekend Pass and my first encounter with Amtrak 66.

7/4/2011 Happy Fourth of July. For this holiday I took Surfliner 564 south to Solana Beach riding Pacific Business Class and took Surfliner 769 home to Santa Ana.

7/5/2011 I took my normal Tuesday Morning Train ride riding Surfliner 562. At Serra no Surfliner 763 at Oceanside no Surfliner 563. We made the fastest trip to Solana Beach ever. I detrained and couldn't believe what I saw coming into Solana Beach. With not too many good photo angles, I did the best I could to get pictures of it.

Surfliners 763/563 left Solana Beach with the San Diego protection unit on the rear end. I waited then boarded 567 to LAUPT. As we neared 8th Street I got the camera ready.

Amtrak 66 in the same location but should be leading the Sunset Limited to New Orleans on Wednesday.

The Private Car Montana at 8th Street. The Surfliner took me to LAUPT and I returned to Surfliner 572 to Santa Ana. There I found Cliff Prather who was using his first Orange County 7 Dollar Day Pass which he got from a bus driver. I tried to get one out of both of the Santa Ana Metrolink Ticket Machines but went through all the steps but the machines wouldn't print my ticket. I called Metrolink to tell them and she said board the train and tell the conductor that I couldn't get a ticket out of the machine. Cliff and I boarded Metrolink 811 for San Juan Capistrano. I told the conductor and twenty four minutes later, we arrived at San Juan Capistrano. We tried the Metrolink Machines there with no luck. Cliff and I went to Ruby's Diner for lunch. We returned to the station and tried the machines again but still no passes. Surfliner 577 came through San Juan Capistrano and then the Metrolink ticketing machine went out of service and started upgrading itself.

Surfliner 578 next came into San Juan Capistrano. The ticket machine then finished but had no Orange County Day Pass. A few minutes later Machine 618 then had it and I went through the steps to get my first Orange County Day Pass. A few minutes later, Metrolink 641 making its first run was approaching San Juan Capistrano.

Metrolink 641 came into San Juan Capistrano which Cliff and I boarded for the trip to Track 4 in Fullerton. Cliff would be getting his first trip over this new line.

Metrolink 641 at Fullerton on Track 4. At Fullerton we talked a few minutes before I boarded Metrolink 604 for home.

7/6/2011 On Wednesday morning I took Surfliner 562 to San Diego then Surfliner 567 to LAUPT.

Things are always on the move at 8th Street.

Two Sunset Limited's at 8th Street, Train 2 for today's train and Train 1 that arrived today from Surfliner 567. At LAUPT I boarded Surfliner 572 for Santa Ana.

Amtrak 66 still on the point of the Sunset Limited. I went back to Santa Ana then headed home for lunch. Knowing that the Sunset Limited backs in after Surfliner 573 arrived I went back down to Santa Ana and boarded Surfliner 573 for LAUPT. Once there I walked down to the end of Tracks 9 and 10 to wait for the Sunset Limited to back into LAUPT this afternoon.

Metrolink train came into LAUPT.

My Metrolink Train 602 for home came into LAUPT just as Surfliner 775 was leaving LAUPT.

The Sunset Limited backed into LAUPT with private cars Sleeper Salisbury Beach, Dome/Coach Silver Splendor and Sleeper Pacific Sands then the reason I came here came into view.

Rear views of Amtrak 66.

Three views of the Amtrak 66.

Sunset Limited with the Amtrak 66 on the point.

Two more views of Amtrak 66. I headed over to Metrolink 602 to head home to Santa Ana very satisfied.